Oil Additives, Fuel Treatments- Do They Really Work?


Just about everyone wants the best out of their vehicle, whether it be better gas mileage, better emissions or better performance. But what if you could get all of this from a simple bottle? That`s the basic premise of fuel treatments and oil additives. Countless auto parts stores and websites hawk a wide variety of additives and treatments that claim to not only clean up certain fuel systems and engine components, but also make your car runs better than before. Like any other claim, consumers are left to figure out where the truth ends (if there was any to begin with) and where the lie begins.

Do Oil Additives Really Work?

Many fuel treatments and oil additives offer claims that range from the modest to the near outlandish. For instance, many oil additives claim to not only reduce friction and increase horsepower, but they also claim to restore fuel economy and reduce engine wear, among other positive benefits. But the question is how can you be absolutely certain that the oil additives you buy can do all of those things? The answer lies in the fluids in which fuel treatments and oil additives interact with.

For starters, engine oil not only lubricates parts to prevent excess friction, but also protects them from corrosion. Most auto manufacturers already include dispersants that help prevent sludge from building up within the engine over time and rust inhibitors to further prevent rust and corrosion on parts it comes into contact with. By now, you`re probably wondering why you`d even need aftermarket oil additives in the first place.

Not surprisingly, many car manufacturers are wondering the same thing. Some have even gone so far as to recommend owners to not use oil additives that haven`t already been included in the recommended engine oil. Truth be told, oil additives simply aren`t necessary for new modern engines. On the other hand, some oil additives have been known to help to add a small measure of longevity to older engines, including those suffering from compression problems.

So What About Fuel Treatments?

Scores of fuel treatments are touted as “miracles in a bottle,” presenting varying claims of better fuel economy, better performance and improved emissions. Some fuel treatments act as a detergent, reducing carbon buildup within the engine while making the engine easier to start in colder climates. Lower quality gasoline can benefit from the use of certain fuel treatments, not only to enhance its octane rating, but also to improve overall efficiency as it burns in the combustion chamber.

Like engine oil, many fuels already have their own additives added in at the pump. For example, Chevron and Texaco use the patented Techron fuel additive in their gasoline. Shell, BP and other fuel suppliers add their own additives for the sake of fuel quality and performance. Most aftermarket fuel treatments are geared towards cleaning carbon buildup and other deposits from various fuel system components, such as fuel injectors. These treatments perform about the same as the additives offered in most gasoline.

Are They Worth It?

If your vehicle is suffering from a slight performance loss, it may be worthwhile to add a well-known fuel treatment to your next tank of gas. Of course, you can skip the fuel treatment altogether by adding a full tank of Shell V-Power or Chevron with Techron the next time you fill up. As for oil additives, adding a bottle of oil treatment to your engine is usually unnecessary unless it happens to be an older engine in need of a stopgap. Most current oils already feature their own additives that work excellently according to most manufacturer specs. For more detailed information, torquecars.com has more advice about fuel treatments and oil additives.


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  1. Oil additives are chemical compounds that is used to improve the lubricant performance of base oil.These lubricating oils will reduce the friction between the two surfaces. In addition o the advantages these oils have more expense over the base oil.

  2. That attitude today may well be ‘pound wise and penny
    foolish’ as wasted fuel can quickly exceed the cost savings gained from delayed
    or avoided maintenance. LYE series is designed for recycling kinds
    of engine oil used in ships, cars and other vehicles. Synthetic blend is not as good as
    full synthetic, and it is marketed to people that can not decide which type
    of oil to choose.

    • People say that full synthetic oil is best for a engine over basic oil.
      If this is so why doesn’t the car manufacturer recommend it?

      I have a 99 Maxima Se fully loaded which i had purchased brand new.
      It has 191,000 miles on it and it runs like a champ.
      i have always used 5/30 motor oil and it runs like a champ.

  3. It’s good to know that some oil additives can help older engines. Studies have shown that Americans are keeping their cars for longer periods of time these days. If oil additives for high mileage cars can help to ensure that people get the most out of their vehicles, it’s worth looking into. Thanks for your informative article.

  4. I have a 07 Camry with 199,000 miles. I noticed once it sat overnight and I started it the next morning,there would be a bit of a ” blue plume” of smoke coming out of tailpipe. I was at Walmart for oil & filter and saw “stop high mileage oil treatment + stop leak”. I read purposes in bottle and decide d to try it. So for past 2 oil change I’ve used it and no smoke. My Toyota now has 203000 miles and runs great. I will continue to use this product with full synthetic all changes.

    • Steven Cormier on

      I’m doing the same thing with my 2009 honda civic with over 200000 miles on it. I’m using stp oil treatment high mileage + leak. I use 5w20 conventional oil as the manual says still. Not synthetic. I had ticking noises coming from engine when car warms up. It fixed the problem. Although honda does not reccommend additives, and says it could cause engine damage. I think they say that because they don’t know what these additives actually do. Nobody really does. Stp oil treatments claim to do a lot of good. My dad has been using stp oil treatment in the blue bottle for years and never had a problem in older vehicles he has owned.

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